According to various sources, the genus of such evergreen conifers as yew has from 9 to 12 species. Among them you can find both mighty trees with trunks up to 4 meters in diameter, and shrubs with a height of just over a meter. These plants are distinguished by longevity and in nature under natural conditions one can find individual specimens, which are about two thousand years old.
At home, bonsai are formed from yew. Yew is quite capricious and requires a lot of attention, but this does not stop connoisseurs of exotic plants, because the yew is unusually beautiful and can become a central figure in your collection of indoor plants.
Tees: description and characteristics
One of the features of the yew tree is the absence of resin, and, consequently, the absence of the smell characteristic of all conifers. Also, cones do not form on it; instead, red-brown berries with seeds inside ripen on females. And these berries are the only non-poisonous part of the plant, all other parts are poisonous. This is a reason to think about whether to buy yew if you have small children or pets in your house that like to chew houseplants.
The yew has soft needles, the trunk of young plants is smooth, but with age, grooves and peeling begin to appear on it.
Yew wood can be painted pink, red or red-violet, so it deserves the name "mahogany". It is used in the ship industry, and for centuries bows and spears have been made from yew, as it is a very durable and flexible material.
Yew: plant care
Berry Yew: photo of a plant
When choosing a plant, take your time and carefully examine it, make sure there are no harmful insects. There should be no mechanical damage on the crown, the needles of a healthy plant are always painted in a rich dark green color. Waterlogged soil in a flower pot can indicate improper care and cause root rot.
After you have purchased the plant and brought it home, keep it in quarantine for several days, observing its condition, and only then place it in the company of other indoor flowers.
Air temperature and humidity. Yew in the warm season feels comfortable at a temperature of + 23 ... + 25 degrees. If possible, then in winter it should be moved to a room with a lower temperature, but not lower than +13 degrees. There is a rather interesting pattern: the more light a plant receives, the worse it tolerates cold, although initially yew is frost-resistant.
The air humidity should be above 60%, so the yew tree needs regular spraying. In winter, when the heating devices are working and the air becomes especially dry, you can install additional containers with water next to the plant.
Lighting. Yew tolerates shade well, so it can be placed both on the windowsill and in the back of the room. But, of course, when placing a plant on a sunny windowsill, you will need to take care of its protection from direct sunlight.
Watering mode. Water the yew tree abundantly enough, but only after the soil in the flower pot is at least 1/3 dry. After 20-30 minutes, the excess water from the pan must be drained.
Fertilizers. In spring and summer, yew should be fed every 4-5 weeks using fertilizers for bonsai or conifers. In the autumn-winter period, feeding is not necessary.
Pruning. Most likely, you will form a bonsai from your yew and this is a topic for a separate and rather large article.But any plant, in addition to formative pruning, also needs a sanitary-cosmetic one, which consists of
- removing dried or damaged branches.
- removal of unattractive needles in the spring and autumn.
- brushing the bark - this way you remove not only dust, but also plant residues.
Transfer. Yew grows very slowly, so it will be enough to replant it every 4 years. Choose wide and deep flower pots for him, giving preference to products made from natural materials (ceramics). Transplanting should be done by the transshipment method, do not try to free the roots of the plant from the old soil. Yew is unpretentious in the choice of soil, the main thing is that it is light, loose and moisture-permeable.
Berry Yew: photo of a plant
Yew is propagated in two ways: by sowing seeds and by rooting cuttings.
When sowing seeds, it will take a very long time to grow the plant, so you will have to be patient. Previously, the seeds will need to be placed in the refrigerator for some time, since in this case, stratification is necessary for a successful result. Sowing yew seeds should be in spring or autumn.
But with the help of cuttings, yew is propagated from August to November. With this method, you will get an adult plant much faster.
The younger the mother plant, the better the cuttings take root. This process usually takes about three months. You will need a stalk of a plant measuring 14-17 cm, a container with a mixture of sand and peat (1: 2) and a shelter with which you will build a greenhouse.
Diseases and pests
Any negative changes in the appearance of the yew tree indicate discomfort.
As we have already said, the yew tree needs a sufficiently high air humidity. If you find that the needles have begun to turn yellow and dry out, then the air in the room is probably too dry and you should either spray the plant more often or provide additional moisture in another way.
Also, yellowing of the needles can be associated with the use of cold water for irrigation. It is important to remember that the water must be at room temperature and must first be defended so that the chlorine evaporates and all the salts settle to the bottom. It is absolutely impossible to water indoor plants with tap water.
You will most likely be able to detect decay of the yew root system only when transplanting the plant. You can try to carry out resuscitation measures by carefully cutting off diseased roots and transplanting the plant into fresh soil. Still, it’s better to prevent such a problem than to fix it later. When planting yew, never forget about the drainage layer, do not abuse watering and always drain excess water from the pan.
Pests attack the yew quite rarely, but nevertheless there is a possibility of the appearance of a yew gall midge or a yew false shield. In this case, the plant must be immediately quarantined and treated with insecticides that can be used indoors. Proceed very carefully, observe the recommended dosage when using the drug and do not forget about personal protective measures.